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India's gold demand rose to 975 tonnes in 2013 despite import curbs

Mumbai, Feb 18 (PTI): India's gold demand remained buoyant in calendar 2013 at 975 tonnes, up by 13 per cent on the figure for 2012, despite government putting in several restrictions to curb imports, according to a World Gold Council report.

Gold demand in the country was 864 tonnes during 2012, according to data given in WGC 'Gold Demand Trends 2013' report.

”India's gold demand was up 13 per cent in 2013, compared to 2012. Demand in the second half was lower due to the effect of the supply curbs introduced in that period, but, equally, it was due to households having met a large part of their annual gold requirements in the first half, using the price drop in April as a buying opportunity,” WGC Managing Director India Somasundaram P R told PTI here.

The total jewellery demand in the country in 2013 was up by 11 per cent at 612.7 tonnes valued at Rs 1,61,750.6 crore compared to 552 tonne valued at Rs 1,58,359.1 crore in 2012.

The total investment demand for 2013, was up by 16 per cent at 362.1 tonnes from 312.2 tonnes in 2012.

In value terms, gold investment demand rose by six per cent at Rs 95,460.8 crore against Rs 90,184.6 crore in 2012.

Recycled gold, however, declined by 10.79 per cent to 100.8 tonnes in 2013, compared with 113 tonnes in 2012.

The latter half of 2013, Somasundaram said, has seen intense grey market activity but its impact will be more visible and significant this year if the import curbs continue.

Estimates of the extent of gold smuggling in India vary widely, market analysts have suggested it could have added between 20 and 30 tonnes per month, the report pointed out.

”However, our estimation, based on our own analysis of the market, is that these unofficial flows may be considerably higher. We have previously been on record with our estimate of between 150-200 for 2013, and we feel that the total for 2013, was closer to the top-end of this range,” he said.

Talking about 2014, Somasundaram said the industry is not in a very happy situation but the year will be a come back for the precious metal.

”In India, even as the current scenario is not very good, I am positive about gold. I am confident that gold will play a significant role in the country's economy. In 2014, market estimation of gold demand is between 900 and 1000 tonnes,” he added.


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